DEAR READERS: Anyone who has been in the job market recently knows there are myriad places to find listings online. As I’ve perused listings for friends and family members, I’ve wondered: Is there really any difference between sites? And are certain sites better for certain types of jobs than others?
Two things in general differentiate these online job boards, according to Tom Dolfi, head of marketing at Pathfinder, an all-in-one career development platform.
- The kind of candidates they attract/market segment they target. Indeed, says Dolfi, tends to attract candidates looking for more generic work opportunities rather than a specific position at a specific company, while LinkedIn usually appeals to professionals looking for specific positions or companies. “To give other examples, AngelList attracts candidates that want to work in startups, while Glassdoor attracts mostly young professionals looking to change jobs,” he adds.
- The additional services they offer. This essentially means how they make money, Dolfi says. “Most job boards charge employers and recruiters either to access additional features (like browsing passive applicants that have uploaded their CV or discovering talents by using advanced filters), or to place candidates,” he explains.
Several other industry pros I reached out to offered their takes on some of the most popular job search sites.
“The true ‘monsters’ of this industry have become Indeed and LinkedIn, with LinkedIn having the upper hand for experienced professional hires,” says Bryan Zawikowski, vice president and general manager of the military division for Lucas Group (recently named one of the top 10 executive recruiting firms in the nation by Forbes for 2019).
“Indeed, the best by far of the job board aggregators, tends to work best for entry-level, middle-management and hourly (FLSA non-exempt) positions, since that is where those candidates are looking … Some entry-level candidates are intimidated by LinkedIn, as their profiles look a bit thin relative to the competition. These folks need to start their profiles anyway and keep building them and their networks as they grow in their careers.”
Business coach Stacy Caprio, of Stacy Caprio Inc., favors LinkedIn “because it has so many applicable filter options and because you can directly reach out to people in the company with the job you are applying for, directly on the platform,” she explains. “There is no other platform that has a list of all of a company’s employees, and lets you contact them while applying for a job there, making LinkedIn the best job search platform currently available.”
Zawikowski also notes that Facebook and Amazon “… have the potential to be huge disrupters in this space as well.
“Facebook has ‘Facebook Jobs,’ and many recruiters already use Facebook to source talent, cross-referencing with LinkedIn,” he continues. “When the dust settles, my prediction is that the big players in the market will be LinkedIn, Indeed and Facebook.”
Nick Francioso, founder of SkillSyncer, a resume keyword optimizer and job application tracker, says each site has its own pros and cons.
“Our best advice is to use them to source new jobs but eventually apply straight through the company’s career page,” Francioso says.
Why, you might ask?
“When you apply online through a job board other than the company’s career page, you are placing one more gatekeeper in front of you and the hiring manager,” Francioso explains. “These job boards have their own sourcing techniques for providing the company an additional screening method. By applying on companies’ career pages, you are increasing your chances of success.”
(Kathleen Furore is a Chicago-based writer and editor who has covered personal finance and other business-related topics for a variety of trade and consumer publications. You can email her your career questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.)